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2008 Aug 29 garnet


Guy Blade Guy Blade---04:10:00


Marginal Stability
So, I began playing my first 360 game a few days ago. I chose to start with Eternal Sonata because I hadn't played a Japanese style RPG since Xenosaga III. Playing this game, I discovered that the analog stick on the controller that I had gotten with my 360 was somewhat marginal. Although it did what an analog stich was supposed to--move the character as it was moved--it also exhibited behavior that it should not--moving the character when it was not moved. It seems that approximately 20% of the time, the controller will pull to the left at the lowest registerable setting after it has been used.

This behavior is unacceptable due to Eternal Sonata's gameplay mechanics. The game uses a turn based combat system wherein you have a limited amount of "action time" and "tactical time" each turn. Action time is consumed by moving, attacking, using magic and using items. Once party level two is reached, action time is consumed continuously from when you first take an action in a turn. To prevent you from having zero time to prepare when a turn begins, the game gives you tactical time. This time is consumed before you begin moving and allows you to plan out your turn. Unfortunately, when the controller is constantly pulling to the side, it means that your turn begin and you begin inching to the side. This destroys any tactical time you may have and begins eating away at the action time. Needless to say, this is one condition where blaming death on a controller may in fact be justified.

I called the 360 support line and they, after some idiotic "troubleshooting", agreed to replace the controller. Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, does not cross ship on repairs so I'll not have a controller for the next "5 to 10" business days. I expect about a 90% chance that I will thus purchase another controller and MS will get my money for a second controller despite the fact that the defective device was theirs.

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